Noted child psychologist Sylvia Rimm, along with her daughters, a research psychologist and a pediatric oncology researcher, conducted an extensive three-year survey among more than one thousand satisfied women who have achieved success in their careers. She explored in depth these women's childhoods, adolescences, and young adulthoods, noting what the women had in common and culling from her findings important advice on how parents can give their own daughters the same advantages.
Based on extensive original research, See Jane Win provides invaluable advice for helping girls deal with such issues as middle-school grade decline, math anxieties, eating disorders, social and academic insecurities, feelings of being different, self-esteem and competition, the career-family balance, and the glass ceiling. Included are profiles of seventeen women in disparate careers that illuminate the rewards and penalties of linear versus delayed career patterns and show us the typical pathways for women in specific fields, including medicine, science, law, business, education, politics, and the arts.
Despite the many victories of the women's movement, little girls are still given negative messages about their potential and prospects. Dr. Rimm shows parents how to combat those messages and give their daughters the confidence and skills they need to follow in the footsteps of the successful women surveyed.
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See Jane Win is a parents' guide for turning girls into happy, successful women. Child psychologist Sylvia Rimm, along with her daughters--a research psychologist and a pediatric-oncology researcher--spent three and a half years collecting data and conducting interviews to devise the 20 basic points detailed in this book. Their conclusions were based in large part on a detailed questionnaire completed by over 1,400 women with successful careers in a variety of fields, including science and technology, media, the arts, medicine, law, and education. (Homemaking and volunteer work do receive some token attention, but there is a clear professional bias in their definition of success.) Their goal is to "identify the essential childhood elements that encouraged these women to achieve fulfilling careers" in order to alert other parents to them. In this, they achieve their aim. See Jane Win is well organized and informative. Even if some of the advice leans toward common sense, the combination of professional opinion and personal experience is an effective one, animating statistics that could otherwise be as dry as chalk dust.
In the Rimms' findings, education emerges as the key common denominator. High academic expectations, good study habits, strong math and science skills, and a love of reading (no television!) are all stressed. They also encourage parents to resist the urge to overprotect girls, and recommend fostering a healthy love of competition in order to build self-confidence. Indeed, self-esteem is a major underlying theme of the book. The authors discuss in detail how to combat eating disorders, social insecurities, and the negative image of women often portrayed in the media.
Overall, this is a useful compendium of sound advice and enlightening case studies that ultimately serves to underscore one vital point: Parents do make a difference. Sugar and spice are certainly nice, but See Jane Win offers a more substantial recipe for the raising of daughters. --Shawn CarkonenFrom the Back Cover:
"I became a personality and used my brains to compensate for my 'terminal acne.'"
--Helen Gurley Brown, Former Editor in Chief, Cosmopolitan
"My cousin and I were extraordinarily competitive in school. We always prided ourselves on being the best and having the top scores, especially in math. Sometimes he did better; sometimes I did, but it didn't make us dislike each other. It was a very friendly rivalry."
--Dr. Janice Douglas, Medical Researcher
"My high-school years were the most difficult for me. We didn't have a lot of money and I didn't have a lot of self-confidence. I just didn't fit in. My Christian group, Young Life, gave me a part in a group and an opportunity for leadership. I also had a very strong work ethic and worked very hard to earn the money to keep my horses."
--Susan Widham , President, Beech-Nut Nutritional Corporation
"I identified first and foremost with my mother. My mother inspired me to love science. I admired her commitment to education. My mother returned to college in her fifties and entered a career in teaching."
--Dr. Diane Butler, Pediatrician
"While other girls would spend their allowance on make-up and clothes, I saved mine for chemicals and flasks to work on chemistry experiments in the attic. I never minded being different."
--Dr. Susan Lemagie, Obstetrician-Gynecologist
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